Going outdoors is easy to do with these snowshoeing tips for beginners. See the woods and hiking trails in a whole new perspective! Only need a few items to be able to go outside and enjoy nature and the fresh air. Once you try it, you'll want to go snowshoeing again and again.
I've heard many people say "If you can walk, you can snowshoe". And it's true! Snowshoeing is for any age and fitness level.
However, being a mom, I know how hard it can be to get outside and get some exercise in especially in the winter time. Sorry ladies - no more excuses!
I love walking at our local track, but in the winter when there's snow on the ground, walking on the track is impossible. It's not usually cleared off. It's icy or slushy. The ground conditions make it more of a hazard, so I just don't.
I just turned fifty and honestly my balance is not great and I have arthritis in my knees. It's a long way down to the ground. If I fall, it's going to hurt for days.
Snowshoeing tips for beginners
But, I am here to tell that snowshoeing may be just the thing!
I rediscovered snowshoeing on a family vacation to Vermont. My son and I went with a snowshoe tour through the woods with a small group and guide. My son, who is extremely active and agile, hurried ahead and walked in the front with the guide. I brought up the rear of the pack (as usual). Fine by me, as I didn't have to hurry and I haven't been snowshoeing in years. I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
The snow shoe tour only lasted an hour, but by the end of it, I was hooked! It was heart-pumping, calorie-burning, but yet it was also easy and I felt completely confident in my ability not to fall on my ass! Since returning home, I purchased a new pair of snowshoes, found some mom friends who would do this with me and we love it!
Here are some tips for you to also learn to love snowshoeing.
Snowshoes - Get your own pair
When you go into the store to buy a pair of snow shoes they vary by your shoe size, your weight and what kind of snow you will be walking in. I first tried a pair of my husband's snowshoes which were for off trails in deep snow. And although I could walk in them, they were awkward and I also fell over my own feet a few times. I then hit up a local store and found these beauties.
Check out the mammoth size difference! Definitely get a pair that fits you properly and not your spouse, friend or significant other. Sharing gear is nice, but your pair is even better! Often times, stores will have package deals that will come with the poles and a nice bag to keep everything in.
Go with a friend
Don't go alone. Safety in numbers and besides, it's so much more fun to have a friend to chat with as your both getting an awesome workout. Snowshoeing is easy on the joints as it's low-impact but it will get your heart-pumping. Another great reason to have friend there is if something happens along the trail..you fall, get lost or you need help taking off your snowshoes like I did the first time we went out and I was wearing my husband's snow shoes. Take a friend!
Dress for the weather
It's important to dress for the weather, meaning snow pants, boots, gloves and hat. Snowshoeing is a workout and you will get sweaty! Be sure to be wear a layer of clothing that wicks the sweat away from your body instead of trapping the moisture against your skin. For a complete guide on what to wear, check out my guide on Dress for Winter Weather.
Find a trail & bring a map
Okay, you've got your snowshoes, your friend and you're dressed! Now you need to find a place to go. There are many trails that are normally hiking trails that can be used as a snowshoe trail. Search online for local, state parks, the Audubon as well as ski resorts that offer trails for snowshoeing.
Tell someone where you are going
This is another safety precaution. Before heading out to whatever trail, please call your mom, your spouse, another friend, your sister etc... Someone that will know if you aren't home by a certain time; they will know where to look for you. This isn't to sound scary, this is the same as anyone should do if they were hiking.
Safety precautions while hiking
Wear bright colors if its hunting season! Areas that are protected such as the Audubon wouldn't have hunters but if you're not sure, wear bright colors.
Stay on the paths. If you come across what looks like a field (area with no trees), be wary that it may actually be a pond or body of water. Check that map you brought with you before venturing out!
Don't walk too close on single file trails - I learned this quite quickly after getting hit with low-lying tree branches and brushes a couple of times from the person in front of me.
And on the other side of this, if your friend is behind you, be cautious that you're not slapping branches into them as you walk through.
Depending on how long or strenuous the walk is, you may want to throw on a backpack with a bottle of water and a light snack.
Snowshoeing is low impact
My first thoughts of snowshoeing, I was conjuring up images of someone with tons of clothing layers, trekking through deep snow on man-made snow shoes that resemble long tennis rackets. This couldn't possibly be fun or probably strenuous on my arthritis knees.
However snowshoes now have mental claws on the bottom of them that help you grip the snow and ice when you walk.
This is another reason snowshoeing is such an awesome activity! Walking up and down snowy hills without worrying too much about slipping and sliding down it is a definite plus.
If you have sore joints, the snowshoes hitting the snow, as you walk is much more low impact than if you were walking on asphalt or a trail.
Stop and look around
Snowshoeing gives you such a unique perspective. Be sure to stop occasionally and take it all in. The bare trees, the pristine snow, the quiet as there's no rustling leaves like there is when you're hiking the other three seasons of the year. The woods and ponds are snow-covered. It's not something you can see unless you get out there and do it!
We all know how difficult it is for us moms to find time to do something good for ourselves. Make time for this, for you and a mom friend. With these snowshoeing tips for beginners, you can totally do this!
Grab a friend or family, get some gear and enjoy some time outside! And on the weekends or when the kids are not in school, get your little ones in a pair and get them out there to enjoy the fresh air while making snow tracks as you go.